Curiously it is much easier to put a list together of the worst than the best. Many presidents who had notable achievements also have massive failures. Lyndon Johnson championed Civil Rights legislation but it is really hard to overlook Vietnam. Jimmy Carter's vision for the future, especially relating to energy policy was prophetic. His execution was questionable. Then there are the Camp David accords which have to be considered a plus.
Some presidents are popular now but you have to look at their record and say; "what did they get done"? Other presidents were reviled in their time but became beloved. Truman is certainly one of these. It is, however, hard to forget the bloody stalemate that was the Korean War. Getting legislation passed and having a lasting impact on the country and world are a large part of what makes a president great versus good.
Ronald Reagan would be an unpopular candidate for the "worst" list to many. His policies, especially economic policies, were a disaster for the poor. His posturing made many Americans feel strong but often harmed our standing abroad. Yet some of his accomplishments have been long lasting. It is hard to ignore the fact his "reckless" military spending (which basically built on what Carter had done) spent the USSR into oblivion without firing a shot. Likewise his amnesty for immigrants was humane and forward thinking.
Even presidents who BELONG on the "worst" list did a few solid things. Richard Nixon's establishing diplomatic relations with China is a big plus but does it paper over Watergate? Then there is the constant interference in other country's affairs? (Chile etc.) and the generalized corruption and abuse of power.
We owe the magnificent document, the U.S. Constitution, in large part, to the authors of The Federalist Papers. James Madison was one of the three writers. If you want to understand the Constitution and the arguments against it you need to read these essays. They remain powerful after over two centuries. The Constitution is far from a perfect document. It is full of painful compromises with, for lack of a better word, evil, but it also holds within it the mechanisms to right these wrongs. Likewise Madison was a champion of the adoption of the Bill of Rights. Of course, none of these things happened while he was president. His presidency. while eventful, cannot be judged by what he did BEFORE he took office. He was a great American but it is harder to say he was a great president. Then, maybe his previous greatness might overshadow his presidency.
These lists are, of course, colored by my prejudices some of which I acknowledge above. If I made this list again there might be some differences. There are legitimate arguments against these choices. My idea here is to get people thinking about what makes a good or a bad president because these characteristics may be instructive to us as voters. I will also link to what I feel are the best online sources for information on these men and their actions (even when they disagree with me) at the end.
Do I even need to comment? He is reviled now but history will be an even harsher judge. There was corruption on a scale so grand as to make even the most venal denizens of Tammany Hall blush. Foreign policy was incoherent and domestic policy a pure disaster. No one else comes close.
Most of the books I've seen on Trump have been of the "he is the devil" or "he is our savior" variety and lack historical perspective. Give it a decade.
Not only was he an alcoholic and a racist. He openly conspired (or tried to) with military leaders to thwart the legislature. His hatred of the secessionists morphed into becoming their ally after assuming the presidency. He was probably impeached because of how much most people hated him rather than the actual charges. He was, however, guilty of worse.
A great place to start to read about Johnson is Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy by David O. Stewart.
Sat on his hands while the country careened toward Civil War. If he had been an idiot this might have been more forgivable. He was not. He was simply incompetent and unsuited to the presidency (or any high office) by temperament and skill set. Buchanan is a prime example of the damage that can be done by a political hack in power, even an intelligent one.
Most biographies of Buchanan are hatchet jobs with good reason. President James Buchanan: A Biography by Philip Klein is far more sympathetic but is exhaustive.
4-John Tyler/Franklin Pierce
I really wanted to excise Tyler here because my antipathy toward him might be partly derived from his later adherence to the Confederacy. When you look at these two? Their actions (and inaction) were why we slid inexorably into the Civil War. You can make a stronger case for Pierce but I couldn't separate them. I was shamed into adding a few things here. For example Tyler tried to get five different men onto the Supreme Court (with nine tries) and only managed to get one of them on the court. Given the nature of some of these nominees this might have been a blessing. He was a Jeffersonian at heart tacked onto a Whig ticket and the only reason he became president was Harrison died. He was also a believer in secession, a slaver and a proponent of an extreme version of state's rights. Pierce basically scuttled the Missouri Compromise with his support of the Kansas/Nebraska Act setting the stage for civil war. He wanted to annex Cuba, likely to provide an additional slave state. He was almost as bad as Tyler during the U.S. Civil War, only besting him by not actually joining the Confederacy.
I have no recommendation for bios specifically on either man. The University of Kansas Press has a book on Pierce's presidency The Presidency of Franklin Pierce by Larry Gara. I know this only from reviews and synopsis. John Tyler The Accidental President by Edward P. Crapol is a well reviewed biography of Tyler.
Problems that still plague the entire world today come from Wilson's lack of will and effort in the Paris 1919 peace treaty negotiations. The treaty ended World War I and Wilson's role was pivotal. In his actions he there showed how little he believed in his own grand words;he meant and lived up to none of them. The Iraq War has its roots in that treaty. Add to that his racism (translated into policy) and he is one of the most loathsome of presidents. An example of his petty racism? He re-segregated the Federal Government service. His leadership during the war was no more or less than would be expected of any president.
For further reading check out Paris 1919 Six Months That Changed the World by Margarat MacMillan. This isn't a bio of Wilson but a book about the Peace Treaty that ended World War I. For a bio that is, to me, far more sympathetic to Wilson than is merited, check out Woodrow Wilson: A Biography by August Hecksche.
Watergate, abuse of power and the general criminality of his administration overpower his handful of achievements. Nixon's actions abroad were not always of the "recognize China" variety. He repeatedly interfered in South and Central America overthrowing governments (freely elected or not). His continued prosecution of the Vietnam War led to the collapse of Cambodia into mayhem and genocide. You can make a strong case that the bombing of Cambodia was a war crime.
Much of what I've read about Nixon was about Watergate,his role in the Eisenhower Administration or his foreign policy. I did read one biography Richard Nixon: The Life by John Farrell just a few years ago that is fairly comprehensive. Obviously All The President's Men and The Powers That Be by David Halberstam are good options.
His decision to ignore the Supreme Court was a danger to our system. The Indian Removal act was ethnic cleansing on a level that would earn a leader a trial at The Hague now. This is looking at his presidency and putting aside things he did before he was president (slave breeder, slave trader). While president he used his authority to settle scores with political opponents and set a precedent there too--making federal infrastructure improvement political.His attack on the Bank of the United States was, in and of itself, was understandable but how he did it moved the presidency more into the middle of the legislative process which has had deleterious effect ever since. His financial acts at the time also led to one of the worst financial crises in our history (partly due to his obsession with paying off the national debt, as if the country was a country farmer).
The toughest to find an objective biography on. Most of what I've read has been hagiography. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham won a Pulitzer? But to me it is more hagiography. Id suggest delving into books like Driven West- Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War by A. J. Langguth.
An economic crisis like the Great Depression doesn't come to pass in a year or two. It builds over time. But Hoover's policies not only helped speed up the arrival of the crisis, his reaction to it exacerbated the situation. At a time when cash was short? His response was that of a banker--to cut it off out of fear it might not be paid back. This led to the crisis spiraling out of control. If he'd opened the spigot of cash he might have been lauded in later years instead of despised. His pre-presidential career was impressive so you cannot damn him, like some others (even on the "best" list here) for his actions before his presidency.But his resisting Federal intervention in the financial crisis was a disaster.
Hoover has a number of books apologizing for him out there written by right wing ideologues but they tend to be more about the Great Depression and how "if he had ONLY been given more time"! The only bio I've read of Hoover was some time ago. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life by David Burner is a solid bio. I read some reviews saying it was "dry" while trying to remember the name of the book. Of course it was, it is about Herbert Hoover.
His ending of reconstruction as part of a corrupt bargain to become president has haunted the country ever since. While his strike-breaking and poor understanding of modern economics (big gold standard guy) are notable his reconstruction bargain is what damns him. Many sources say that he personally was for freed slave’s rights. This does not make the result of his actions more palatable.
I confess to never having read a bio of Hayes. But a good starting point to explore his presidency is Fraud of the Century by Roy Morris Jr. Former Chief Justice William Rehnquist also wrote a book on the subject but I have never had the gumption to read it.
10-George W Bush
His wars cost a fortune in lives and in money and accomplished virtually nothing aside from bolstering the prospects of inveterate enemies of the USA (Iran being one). While the financial collapse of 2008 was not his fault, a president's job is also to head off such calamities and the writing was on the wall for anyone paying attention. He did nothing to avoid the crises and , unlike Hoover, it didn't happen early in his administration. His reaction was, however, better than Hoover and almost led me to not include him on this list. His positive actions following the election might merit a reexamination of his record at some point but they do not erase his numerous missteps.
I haven't read any biographies of George W. Bush. It is going to be some time before anything authoritative appears.
The best presidents seem to have one thing in common, regardless of when they took office; they surround themselves with good people. Some of the presidents toward the bottom of this list would have been higher up, in my estimation, had their cabinets been broader and more accomplished. Grant leaps out of the pack in this regard. While he had some great members of his cabinet there were several who were corrupt and/or incompetent. The best cabinets are also those that are broad, both geograpically and politically. Many of these presidents knew this but not all of them put the knowledge into action.
Lincoln literally saved the country during the U.S. Civil War. This was not a case of a president merely performing their duties during a war. He picked the people around him with greater skill than any president in U.S. history. His eloquence united the non-rebellious part of the country in a herculean effort. Keep in mind the UNION was not particularly unified in its response to secession. Obviously he freed the slaves but beyond the war he helped secure a meaningful peace. The 13th Amendment was not a foregone conclusion and it was Lincoln who made it so. Black citizens might well have wound up re-enslaved given the speed with which the country turned away from the notion of equality. Lincoln knew this. Lincoln also did something else; his writing and his speeches resonate through the ages and helped establish what our country was. There is no single presidential speech that resonates on the same level as the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln, in those brief remarks, summarized our nation in a way that is still meaningful 158 years later. Lesser known parts of his Presidency include: the Homestead Act (1862) which allowed poor people to purchase land, his establishment of the Department of Agriculture, the National Bank Act (1863) which created a national banking system, The Revenue Act (1863) which established a progressive income tax, and the Morrill Land Grant Act (1862). If you attended Clemson, Cornell, Nebraska, Kansas State universities (among many others) you can thank this last act. Now think on all this legislation being shepherded through Congress during a war. It is a solid record.
There are tons of biographies of Abraham Lincoln. But my goodness, speaking of hagiography! A great place to start relating to Lincoln's presidency is Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. You can also check out various publications of Lincoln's letters. Lincoln by David Herbert Donald is also a solid Lincoln biography.
George Washington did not want to serve a second term as president but was convinced by those around him that the new nation was too fragile for a change. He was literally the only indispensable president, the only one who was the "only one who can save us." He kept the fledgling country out of foreign wars and brought in the best people to surround him in office. You hear Lincoln had a team of rivals? Washington's cabinet was full of people who hated each other's guts. Washington kept them in line and managed to get the best out of all of them from the financial sector to diplomacy. His slave owning causes many to deny his greatness as a president. It does not. It denies him greatness as a man. Now, that said, he knew slavery would blemish his name in history so the argument that we cannot judge with standards of our time is something approaching spurious. He freed his slaves (upon the death of his wife) in his will and provided for them as was provided by law. He also had his correspondence destroyed upon his death which denies us valuable insight. Yet, his very presence assured the survival of the fledgling country. One accomplishment is part of what he did not do. He did not seek a third term which led to a tradition, later enshrined in the Constitution, of presidents serving no more than two terms.
A approachable and even handed biography of Washington is His Excellency: George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis. You can also find out a great deal about Washington in biographies of his cabinet members. Everyone knows Hamilton by Ron Chernow and John Adams by David McCullough. Founding Brothers, also by Ellis puts Washington in the context of the other Founding Fathers and is an excellent read.
3-Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The Great Depression is one of a small number of economic tragedies that crippled our country. It is possibly the worst economic calamity. Roosevelt, despite revisionist history, created a series of policies that pulled the country out of the mire. Hard on the heels of this the United States saw the world sink, again, this time into the most destructive war in human history. Roosevelt led us through that war, managing a coalition both inside the USA and internationally, full of people and nations at cross purposes with one another. He had an almost supernatural knack for putting the right people in the right places--Eisenhower, Marshall, Harry Hopkins etc. The management of his international partnerships was even more fraught, yet he managed to do that as well. He left us with Social Security, FDIC, Fannie Mae, the SEC, National Labor Relations Board and more that still exist today. He transformed our country in a way that was necessary, far-seeing and far reaching. If anyone wanted to argue he should be even higher on this list it would be hard to argue.
Find your favorite conservative commentator, then look for a book they "wrote" (aka " had ghost written") and you will find piles of "Roosevelt ATE BABIES" bios. If you do the same for your favorite liberal commentator you will find "FDR WALKED ON WATER!" bios. Obviously I think highly of Roosevelt but I prefer history to be...historical. If you can handle two volumes? Check out The Definitive FDR by James MacGregor Burns or Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life by Robert Dallek. You can also go HERE to see a list of numerous excellent bios on FDR. Freedom From Fear by David Kennedy focuses more on the New Deal. Another book essential to understanding the era is The Great Crash, 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith.
He might be on this list only for his expansion of national parks and forests and his focus on and promotion of conservation (he created the Forest Service). Roosevelt also reorganized the American military thus making it ready for upcoming global crises like World War I and II. His diplomatic successes were notable as well. Was the Panama Canal an above the board shining example of righteous international relations? Hell no… but the result was a benefit to world trade. He won the Nobel Prize for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. His domestic policies on both the labor movement, racial equality and commerce were, perhaps, not spectacular but he was the first president to have a black man, Booker T. Washington, to the White House for dinner. The fact he did anything to move forward the cause of racial equality and labor rights was remarkable given the attitudes of the time. He signed the bill creating the Department of Commerce and Labor (since split into two departments). He was generally sympathetic to labor and while Taft would actually "bust more trusts" Teddy got the ball rolling on getting rid of monopolies. Both the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act passed on his watch. Roosevelt had a lot to do with Americans expecting the government to guarantee their food and drugs were safe. We take it for granted but we do that because of Roosevelt.
There are a lot of bios of Teddy Roosevelt obviously. Id suggest trying Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography by Henry F. Pringle, Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough or The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The contrast with Taft is great in this book. Two good books on the Panama Canal are Erased: The Untold Story of the Panama Canal by Marixa Lasso and Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough.
The years following World War II were dangerous. We look back and, excluding the Korean War, see a time where the major world powers eyed each other warily but did not wind up fighting. This being the case was not a foregone conclusion when Eisenhower took office. He ended the pointless Korean War and kept the peace. Were there some interventions that were, to put it mildly, dubious? Yes, but he also managed to keep the peace in the Middle East. When the British, French and Israelis seized the Suez Canal? He is the one who firmly suggested they leave. While it is difficult to applaud the USA's various interventions in foreign countries, this was a different and part of a larger situation. The USA couldn't intervene in Hungary without starting World War III but they could stop the seizure of the Suez Canal (which didn't prevent World War III of course but, lord knows what would have happened if it had been allowed to stand). Eisenhower was a fireman putting out as many little fires as he could. He did stumble and some of his interventions would come back to haunt the world but, on the balance, he preserved peace. He also signed the first meaningful Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act of 1957. He backed it up with his use of the National Guard in Little Rock. When his Secretary of the Navy wanted to bow to Jim Crow rules in parts of the country; Ike said no. Likewise he declared racial discrimination a national security threat. He also appointed several Supreme Court Justices both Democrat and Republican. Do you like driving? Thank Ike for the highway system (what a horrible socialist!). He also warned us about the military industrial complex in a prophetic, but ignored, address at the end of his term. He also began the Space Program in earnest.
There are a large number of biographies of Eisenhower. One good one that deals mostly with his presidency is The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in The 1950s by William I. Hitchcock. You can find out more about Eisenhower as general in innumerable books, perhaps most interestingly in the six volume history of World War II by Winston Churchill and in The Complete War Memoires of Charles DeGaulle. You do need to take these with a grain of salt. Eisenhower's own two volume memoirs of his White House years are also a worthwhile read (Mandate for Change and Waging Peace).
The Monroe Doctrine's impact on hemispheric history cannot be overstated. It is true that in the early years this doctrine was something the USA was incapable of enforcing but it was an enduring policy. Could the USA stop Russia or France from seeking new colonies? Probably not but they could certainly do so with the tacit backing of Great Britain. Well after Monroe's time, French involvement in Mexico was an affront to the doctrine but the US was otherwise engaged in the 1860s. Threat of American intervention and troubles at home contributed to the virtual abandonment of the French puppet emperor. As the U.S. influence and power grew so did the power of the doctrine (if only we'd taken it to apply to our country). One often overlooked aspect of the Monroe Doctrine is it's promise to not become involved in European conflicts. This would hold until World War I. Monroe also purchased Florida from Spain. He was leery of the Missouri Compromise on something akin to a state's rights stance but signed it anyway. This basically kicked the can of Civil War down the road. You can spin this into a negative but the country was more established and able to weather such a storm 40 years later. He was instrumental in building up the country's infrastructure. He wanted a constitutional amendment to specifically grant the government the power to invest in infrastructure. He didn't get that but Congress passed the laws and allocated money for improvements regardless and Monroe signed them. Like Lincoln and Washington, Monroe also benefited from the wise choices he made for his cabinet. John Quincy Adams was perhaps the best Secretary of State in our country's history for one.
The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nations Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger is the only biography I've read of Monroe but you can get a good idea about Monroe from the other Founding Father books recommended under George Washington. If you are willing to cough up some money grab The Making of the Monroe Doctrine by Ernest R. May.
Thomas Jefferson wasn't much of a man even though he was a great president. This wasn't just because he owned slaves but the fact he had children with his slaves who he kept as slaves until they came of age (six of them). We will never really know the nature of the relationship between Sally Hemmings and Jefferson but based on what we do know? It, to put it mildly, doesn't reflect well on Jefferson. Likewise his outright lying and backstabbing with men who were supposedly his friends (notably John Adams). He spent beyond his means and was duplicitous. Yet his accomplishments as President were undeniable. The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the country. He also had the area mapped via several expeditions (not just Lewis and Clark). This was done without bloodshed. America was going to expand westward whether France, England, Russia or whoever else was there. Doing so by paying 15 million dollars is better than a war (like would happen under Polk). One overlooked achievement of Jefferson is the abolition of the slave trade. Jefferson knew the slave trade and slavery were wrong, much like Washington. While Washington freed his slaves in his will? Jefferson stopped the legal import of slaves into the country. Jefferson was also instrumental in the establishment of the Library of Congress while president (after his presidency and the library being burned by the British he donated much of his library to the fledgling institution as well). Jefferson also was an early enemy of patronage, preferring to keep qualified people in lower government positions rather than replace them with political allies.
The obvious bio to point people to on Jefferson is American Sphinx:The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis. It is an even-handed and readable book. Going back 20 years there is also The Wolf by the Ears: Thomas Jefferson and Slavery by John Chester Miller. Another book on Jefferson, from around the same time as American Sphinx is the remarkable, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings by Annette Gordon-Reed.
8- Harry Truman
The Marshall Plan alone might well warrant Truman's inclusion on this list. Following the Second World War Europe was in rubble and the nations of the continent, on their own, were not capable of rebuilding. Many were not even capable of feeding themselves. The consequences of doing nothing were obvious but that did not stop the spectre of isolationism to rear its head. Truman also picked the right man to organize and implement the plan. Then there is the Truman Doctrine and the Berlin Airlift. In both cases Truman dodged direct confrontation with the Eastern Bloc and basically outspent them to prevent the advance of the Soviet Union. Were the results always pretty? No. But imagine Greece and Turkey as Soviet satellite states in the 1950s and what that might have meant to the world. The Truman Doctrine did lead to the pointless slaughter of the Korean War but it is also worthwhile to note that both the North Koreans and Douglas MacArthur had a part in the poor decisions there (notably decisions that led to Chinese intervention). Truman also ended the segregation of the U.S Armed Forces. He was instrumental in the founding of the United Nations, NATO and most of the USA's Modern intelligence agencies. Do you have an FHA mortgage? Thank Truman and The Housing Act of 1949. The debate over the use of nuclear weapons is too complex to get into here. Eisenhower thought it was unnecessary but then he was no fan of Harry.
Truman by David McCullough is the obvious go to biography that is easy to find (and that I have read). But another book on Truman that is worth reading is The Last Campaign How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election by Zachary Karabell. This book shows Truman as the hard nosed, savvy politician that he was.
9-Ulysses S. Grant
Grant was, it is often forgotten, a champion of freed slaves. He used troops to back this up on numerous occasions and was responsible for crushing the nascent Ku Klux Klan. Had his vision of Reconstruction prevailed the USA might have averted (somewhat) the pain and destruction of Jim Crow. He assisted Mexico in throwing off French Imperialism which may hearken back to his fighting in the Mexican-American War. He thought that war a great injustice. He also tried to change the country's genocidal policy toward Native Americans. We will all justifiably wince at his desire to "civilize" indigenous Americans. The notion is abhorrent and hypocritical coming from the president of a nation that spent nearly five years slaughtering each other. He wanted peace though which is better than slaughter (there is no defending the Indian Appropriation Act, however). Unfortunately, his views were quickly sacrificed by most of the men who followed him. Grant also established the first U.S. National Park (Yellowstone) and the Department of Justice and Office of Solicitor General. Grant was a strong backer of the 15th Amendment which begins with the sentence; “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Grant by Ron Chernow is, again, the obvious choice and it is an excellent biography. Another expansive single volume biography (even if there are some organizational issues in the post-war years) is Grant by Jean Edward Smith. Also, probably the best autobiography by an American president is the Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant.
Obama was not going to be on this list but I simply couldn't bring myself to put some of the other potential candidates here. Also, when you look at Obama's record a surprising thing happens; there were a number of significant wins we all forget about in economics and taxation. These, sometimes continuation of the policies of the Bush administration following the 2008 economic meltdown, merit his being on this list. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a massive boost to stability and our economy. Add to this the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization Act (2010), the Job Creation Act (2010), the American Taxpayer Relief Act (2012), the Budget Control Act (2011) and the Affordable Care Act. The first of these (ARRA) includes one of the largest middle class tax cuts since taxes began. The last is imperfect and probably SHOULD have been more expansive but it is a wedge in the door for the USA to join every other wealthy nation in seeing health care as a right and not a privilege. It isn't going away and will ultimately and inevitably lead to universal health care. Many of us tend to think of Obama in terms of breaking down racial barriers but his main contribution might be in economics (even if the subsequent administration did their utmost to destroy the accomplishments). Make no mistake health care is an economic issue. I tried to keep Obama off this list because it is sort of too soon to judge good vs great in his case but the legislation he championed surprised me and overcame my hesitation.
Like Bush and Trump there is no authoritative, historical assessment of the Obama administration. But The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era by Michael Grunwald, is a book that outlines Obama's economic legislative legacy. It may be more effusive than merited but it lays out a solid case.
Four presidents on the best list are Republican, three Democrats, two from the extinct Democratic-Republican
party and one from no party.The GOP wins the best of battle. With my "tie" between Tyler and Pierce there
are five Democrats and five Republicans and one member of the extinct Whigs on the worst list. So, from my view, it is about a wash between the parties in the "worst of" category.
The American Presidency Project, University of California Santa Barbara https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu
Brief bios of U.S. Presidents at whitehouse.gov
Presidential Papers from NARA The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States.
U.S Department of State. Presidential Remarks to the UN General Assembly.
Lincoln online www.abrahamlincolnonline.org.
Presidential libraries online www.archives.gov
Purdue University list of Presidential Libraries and Records https://guides.lib.purdue.edu/president.
Federal Depository Library Program-Presidential Documents. libguides.fdlp.gov.
The digital papers of James Monroe at the Library of Congress www.loc.gov/collections/james-monroe-papers/about-this-collection.
The digital papers of Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia.
The digital papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia.